Friday, July 03, 2009

Dear Mr Rudd

Dear Mr Rudd,

We note with enthusiasm the treatment of farmers in the US Emissions Trading Scheme legislation which passed in the Congress recently. We commend to you the following provisions in that legislation and seek your support for similar provisions to be inserted in the Carbon Pollution Removal Scheme legislation which will go before the Senate of the Commonwealth in August:

1. The American Farmer is to be rewarded with tradeable carbon offsets for reducing emissions. The Australian Farmer is to be penalised for emissions caused by the natural biological cycles that govern Agriculture.

2. The American Farmer will receive carbon credits for practices they have put in place back to 2001. The Australian Farmer who has been a good steward to the environment will be penalised for their efforts under the Additionality provisions of the standard Kyoto arrangements for offsets, were an offset program introduced.

3. The USDA, not the EPA, will be the lead agency on running the offset program and conducting the rulemaking. In Australia, the Department for Climate Change and Water has proved incapable of meaningful consultation and engagement with the industry at farmer level.We recommend that the responsibility for these matters be passed to the Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Hon. Tony Burke.

4. The world's farmers are to be covered by a global agreement on emissions and sequestration, if the International Federation of Agricultural Producers' campaign is successful. Currently, Australian farmers would be covered by a local cap and trade scheme, along with only one other country: New Zealand.

It is our submission that responsibility for the portfolio be transferred immediately and that new provisions be prepared as amendments to the CPRS legislation prior to the bill reaching the Senate, those provisions to reflect the US legislation.

Yours sincerely,

The Carbon Farmers

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